COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- New reports highlight the negative attitude men have about seeking medical care. According to the Cleveland Clinic, nearly two-thirds of men surveyed avoid going to the doctor for as long as possible. And more than one-third said they aren't truthful with their doctor.
Surveys show that men are far less likely than women to go to the doctor for annual check-ups. And it's a trend that hasn't changed much in the last few decades.
"For overall health and wellness it is really important to be seen by your primary care physician at least once a year," says Dr. Donald Setter, a family medicine physician with UCHealth. "During these visits, we can review medical histories, perform a detailed physical examination, we can order and review lab work, and refill medications."
Skipping the appointment can lead men to miss out on cancer screenings. Which can be life-saving if caught early.
"What they are going to be missing out on is those preventative medicine topics, so if they miss out on that they are going to be coming into the office for a specific problem and not for preventative purposes," says Dr. Setter.
Dr. Setter says men avoid the doctor's office for a variety of reasons. Some have traditional masculinity views, believing they are strong and healthy. Others fear diagnosis or are uncomfortable with exams. But that often leads to more than 40 percent of men not going to the doctor at all unless they have a serious issue on their hands.
"In general what we find is that men have a tendency to come to the office more for intervention reasons rather than preventative reasons," says Dr. Setter.
To help close the health gap, be persistent with the male family members to get to the doctor for annual check-ups and other health concerns. Encourage them to do their research and be honest with their doctor.